Hero & Zero: Reading Incentives & Squandered Books

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hero and zero

By Nikki Silverstein

Hero: School’s out, but learning is still in at the Marin County Free Library. Three programs encourage kids of all ages to keep reading by offering fun incentives. Kids Summer Challenge, for youths up to 12, awards Book Bucks for reading. Exchange bucks for prizes, or donate them to the Marin Foster Care Association, which will receive real dollars from the Friends of the Marin County Free Library. Teen Summer Challenge features trivia contests, movie nights and more, with a grand prize for the student racking up the most participation points. If you don’t live near a Marin County Free Library branch, the Summer Challenge to Go takes place at various child development centers, public summer schools and ranches in West Marin. Visit marinlibrary.org for more information.

Zero: Should we trash textbooks or hold them for the nonprofit Global Book Exchange in Terra Linda? Unbelievably, Dixie Elementary School in San Rafael chose the first option upon hearing that the exchange was temporarily full. Some parents took to Nextdoor, a community website, to voice their objections about the school squandering the books by placing them in a recycling receptacle. We add reckless and irreverent to that charge, especially when the local Global Book Exchange exists solely to rehome used K-12 textbooks and children’s books with teachers, families and young people here in Marin and around the world. Due to the justified backlash the school received, Dixie will now store books until the exchange is able to receive them. That’s a smart idea. 

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